Open with a Dictionary Def. : Show You Can’t Open Yourself

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When I see a dictionary def quote to start a post, I think three things:
1) I can use a dictionary myself,
2) Why am I reading this post, if the author doesn’t think they can write?
3) Why else would they open with the boring dictionary quote?

Not a good start!
Do I read on?
What do you think?


  1. Slightly off topic here … Since the dictionary has been so easily accessible on my computer I’m fascinated by randomly looking up words that I have been using my whole life not to mention the ones I rarely use. I stood corrected more than a couple of times. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I use dictionary definitions when I am tackling works like hope, emotional abuse, depression and other often used words that the meanings have become blurred. It is usually the beginning of an exploration into that word. Just my perspective.

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  3. “because you can be sure, my dear Crito, that misuse of words is not only troublesome in itself, but actually has a bad effect on the soul.” Phaedo. That was written in the 4 century BC by Plato quoting Socrates. It was a problem then, and it continues to be is a problem now. The misuse of words and the fabrications of definitions are the primary cause of every conflict, internal and external, and convicted Socrates. Especially, words like justice, respect, and love have been mythicized as having a variety of meanings. So it might be necessary to begin a persons point, with their definition of the topic they are addressing and it doesn’t hurt to say where the source of that definition is from, and that it is not coming from the idiot box.

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    1. True. I think I just saw too many and it started to bug me. I’m surprised, actually, that so many people took me so seriously on this point, as I’m hardly an authority on writing! I can think of some past teachers who would find it even more baffling ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for reaching out – Greg


      1. I understand and agree with you. I was just trying to make some light humour. I use quotes from people and the bible so I can’t say too much against it. But I do hear you on the over use sometimes.


      2. Quotes I love! Very different, to me. Instead of defining a word, you push an idea. As for humor, I apologize if I responded too seriously. I got far more response to this little barb of a post than I expected: lots of passion and seriousness! Thanks – Greg

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess it’s different strokes for everyone but I actually enjoy dictionary definitions. The Engrish (typo on purpose) language, as beautiful as it is, leaves much to the imagination from a semantical perspective in addition to root word origin. So, when I use them, it’s to set the tone of what’s coming or as a frame of reference to possibly getting people to view things outside of our normal conditioning. And a single word can have many different connotations depending on the context. Just my two cents, and really, if you judge a book by it’s cover you may be missing the best part due to the initial bias and Lord knows, I’ve done this way too often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So many people care about this idea, it’s impressive, really. I’m all for clarity and dictionaries. My bias against dictionary intros is just that, a bias of mine, perhaps a reflection of overexposure to painfully awkward writing in academic pieces. Thanks for taking the effort to write to me – Greg

      Liked by 1 person

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